Eloise’s February 2022 News – Proximity Bias, Recruitment Market, Self Care
Hello and welcome to February,
It’s a great feeling when January is done and dusted, and we have the short month of February to get our teeth into. It’s been chilly but there are little early signs of spring everywhere; snowdrops emerging, the nights getting slightly lighter and I’ve seen some truly beautiful sunsets.
Usually, now is a time for optimism to be in the air, and with the end of most pandemic restrictions, for some, it certainly is. For others it’s not just an emergence from winter hibernation but an emergence from two years of pandemic isolation.
How are you feeling about the lifting of Covid restrictions and being, or potentially being, back in an office?
Is there an expectation for you to be in the office full-time?
Speaking to businesses and candidates every day, we get a great insight into how people are feeling and what they would like to be happening with workplaces. The overwhelming feedback is that the majority of office workers want to keep an element of homeworking. The first thing candidates ask about a job role is if it’s got a hybrid working pattern.
From a recruitment perspective, businesses who are moving to permanent hybrid working are going to find employee retention and recruitment far easier this year. Businesses who are demanding people return to work in offices full time will lose employees in the longer term for more flexible employers.
Although we know people want/expect hybrid working, a topic that is starting to appear all over LinkedIn is ‘proximity bias’. This is where there is an unfair bias towards employees working from the office over those working remotely. Team members who are being ‘seen’, rather than those who are not.
There are lots of articles being written exploring how detrimental this could be for the careers of people working remotely when it comes to promotions, bonuses, pay rises etc. With in-office employees more likely to progress and get the best opportunities.
Women and parents have been identified as being particularly at risk of proximity bias as they make up the majority of employees working remotely.
Are working relationships still made at the water cooler, by doing the coffee run or grabbing a sandwich with the boss? Is being ‘seen’ more important than achievements and productivity?
Is it all of our responsibilities to combat this? It’s something to think about if you manage people. And certainly, something to work on if you are a remote worker. You ‘see’ your contribution every day, you might need to ensure others do too, don’t become out of sight out of mind.
The recruitment market
The recruitment market tends to quieten down in December ahead of a surge in available roles in January. But the end of 2021 saw only a very tiny dip. The jobs market was near historic levels as we approached the New Year.
Available jobs across all sectors are still accelerating, as are starting salaries.
The issue, as it has been for some time, is the number of available candidates in the market. Although the REC report states that candidate availability wasn’t as bad in December as it has been. There is often a new wave of candidates at the start of any New Year. So the takeout is to capitalise on this but make sure you have your candidate offer right.
Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC recommends “businesses need to make sure they are reacting to the long-term challenges of this market, thinking harder about their offer to staff and how to shape their future workforce. Recruiters are ideally positioned to help employers with this.”
As I’ve already mentioned, candidates are always asking about hybrid working and what the office/home split is. It’s super important to have this factored into your roles to keep your candidate options as open as possible. It can also help to broaden your location search with candidate proximity not being as important.
Self-care should be on everyone’s priority list, and I think it’s particularly important during the winter when our vitamin D levels are naturally lower.
I’m always reading up about new ideas and things local to me that can be input into my self-care. If you know me well, you’ll know I’m very active and love exercising and going to the gym. Something I’ve been exploring lately is the impact of nature on our mental health.
Having completed a running challenge in January (more on this below), I’ve noticed the benefits of running outdoors in nature for my mood and sense of wellbeing. Yes, the physical act of running and the endorphin release will have contributed. But also, being outside in the fresh air has been so positive. Running through parks and alongside canals etc has been glorious.
Then I stumbled across an article about the impact of nature on our mental health and if ‘fake nature’ can have the same impact. And yes, it turns out it can. So having plants in your working space, watching nature programmes on the TV, all counts.
Not everyone can conveniently access nature, or it might not be readily available. But nature simulations such as artwork, photos, plants, living walls, watching nature programmes, gardening etc have all been proven to increase our positive mood and reduce negative moods.
A member of my team also swears by having a forest green ‘feature’ office wall as being a mood booster.
A bit of nature every day is certainly what I prescribe.
Run the month
If you remember from last month’s post, me and my children (Jacob and Daisy 12-year-old twins), we’re taking part in a ‘Run the Month’ challenge to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK in memory of my Dad.
I’m really happy to tell you that we all completed our challenge! I managed 32.68 miles and the kids both achieved the 26.2 marathon miles each. It was fantastic for me to do this as a family and I am so proud of them both. The last I checked we had raised an amazing £665 for a great cause! It really was very emotional for me at times as I spent many hours running and remembering, and I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who donated and helped us with all the support and positivity.
January can be a tough month for lots of people for many reasons but doing exercise and being part of the Prostate Cancer UK online community and feeling like we have made a difference has helped us as a family. I am definitely an advocate of getting involved where you can and doing things for the greater good.
That’s us for another month
I’ll be back in touch next month. Have a good February and get some nature in!
We recruit throughout the East Midlands covering Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and the surrounding areas, especially Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Leicester, Corby and Kettering. We help people find their perfect job and match suitable jobseekers with businesses looking to hire the best candidates across our five specialisms – Sales, Marketing, Accountancy & Finance, HR and Office
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